The power of your own story…

Helping people in India come to faith means sharing what God has done at every opportunity.

BMS worker Ben sits on a boat.
BMS worker Ben is helping people share the gospel in India, with your support.

Travel to India and it’s unlikely you’ll meet a Christian on the street. At least, that’s what the statistics tell you. In the world’s second most populous country, just over two per cent of the population openly identifies as Christian. But that’s still around 28 million people, a good foundation for those working hard to share the gospel in a nation that’s 80 per cent Hindu.

The challenge of telling people about Jesus remains daunting, however. It requires boldness, stamina and, critically, an approach that gets results. Thankfully, the church planters you support in India have it all. They’re led by BMS World Mission worker Ben Francis, a man who is never found silent when given the chance to express his passion for Jesus. Ben is at the forefront of an exciting disciple-making movement in his country, and has an inspiring hunger to see people come to faith.

A man raises his hand in worship in front of a lectern.
Thousands of people across India are committed to sharing how Christ has transformed their lives.

Around 45,000 people became Christians last year through the work Ben leads in India. It’s a number that’s easier to understand when you learn that over 8,000 people, who his church planters led to faith, attended training sessions on how to spread the gospel. And at the heart of the training is a simple lesson – never miss a chance to share how the love of Christ has transformed your life.

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“People need to share their story whenever they can,” says Ben. “They need to be in the habit of talking about what the Lord has done at every opportunity. To friends, family, neighbours, colleagues, acquaintances, or even people they’re buying things from.

“The conventional method was to go out and bring people back to church. Now, we go out, start a group and tell people to go and start one somewhere else. Multiplication can take place much faster this way.”

Sharing stories is at the core of this multiplication. As is getting to the point quickly. Ben encourages church planters to share their stories of transformation in just three minutes. “Not everybody you talk to will respond,” says Ben. “But some will, and then you tell them more about God.”

Top tips for evangelism graphic
Men and women sit together with bibles.
Ben says that the growth of people coming to faith seen in India can happen anywhere in the world.

One place where there has been an extraordinary response to the gospel is the state of Odisha (formerly Orissa). You may know about it because you supported our recent appeal focusing on church planting there. Or perhaps you followed the brutal persecution that happened in Odisha a few years ago.

Christians are still persecuted by extremists today in Odisha. They’re beaten. Intimidated. Humiliated. Murdered. Yet, in spite of extreme opposition, Christians continue to preach the Word of God – gently, respectfully and boldly. You’ve been supporting more than 40 church planters in the state, and in recent years, they’ve taken the gospel to over 1,600 villages.

And while the work you support in India is amazing, you’re going further, too. By supporting BMS, you’ve been helping Christians in other countries expand their church planting. Ben has been equipping churches in Europe and Asia to better communicate the love of Christ, just as he does in India. Soon you may even get a chance to learn from him in person about how you can start a disciple-making movement where you are.

“If the growth of people coming to faith can happen in India, then it can happen anywhere,” says Ben. “The principles of the Word of God do not change because you’re in India, or China, or anywhere. The Spirit of God energises.”

That energy is sweeping through towns and villages in India. Through homes. And through lives, as disciples make disciples. You’re already making it possible. And we’re excited for what comes next.

Watch Ben’s simple explanation of how to share your story of transformation

This story was originally published in BMS’ magazine, Engage. Subscribe to Engage today to get more stories like this delivered straight to your door for free!

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Original article featured in Issue 44 of Engage, the BMS World Mission Magazine. Edited for the website by Laura Durrant.

Posted on: July 04 2019

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